Author Archives: Vashti B

Drawing: the fortifying element in any artist’s work

The importance of drawing lies in the fact that it embodies a genuine and independent way of thinking. It is the most fundamental and direct of the visual arts in so far as it underlies mastery in almost every discipline in the visual art world.
Training in the formal aspects of drawing is a fortifying element in any artist’s work however he or she may ultimately choose to compose. Learning to see size, scale, shape, and spatial relationships, along with surface interplays of textures within a wash of lights and darks, is necessary for representing any formal idea, whether realistic, imaginary or symbolic. In the first place you must learn to see and draw accurately before you can move on to more expressive ideas.
The best drawing practitioners understand that they only really see something when they draw it.

“Self Portrait” by Kay Kane.

Dr. Kay Kane
Artist, Teacher of Drawing and Painting


Improve your own drawing skills in one of our workshops or classes here or take part in our Life Drawing Extravaganza on 10th Nov 2019 

Volunteer Positions Available

Volunteer Gallery Assistant Positions Available – INTAKE EVERY JAN, APRIL, JULY & OCTOBER .


The Royal Queensland Art Society, Brisbane Branch are looking for passionate, proactive people to join our team at Petrie Terrace Gallery.

About us:

The Petrie Terrace Gallery is owned and operated by the Brisbane Branch of the Royal Queensland Art Society (RQAS). The RQAS is a not for profit organisation and was born in 1884, formed by a group of like-minded artists and was formally established in 1887.

The objectives of the RQAS are to encourage and promote the cultivation and appreciation of the fine arts, and provide an artist hub for artists of all genres and encourage the visual arts, provide support to artists, networking opportunities and present exhibitions.


The following volunteer positions are available:


  • Library and Cataloguing Assistants.

Short Term 3 – 6 months, Volunteer Position.


The historic and important collection of rare books and exhibition ephemera of the RQAS Library is being digitalised and re-catalogued. We are seeking art history students, art history enthusiasts and research students to assist us in this task. This project will be a rewarding and valuable experience for anyone wanting to work in these fields. Computer and archiving skills would be an advantage though all training will be provided.



  • Gallery Assistants (Administration and Front of House Gallery Duty)

Casual – Ongoing position, Volunteer Position.


Petrie Terrace Gallery are seeking casual assistants who wish to gain experience in the front of house operations of an art gallery. The role will include administration duties, sales and general enquiries, art handling, and occasional assistance in curating and promotion.  An interest in the arts and previous experience in retail and / or administration would be an advantage though all training will be provided.


To apply please complete the following form & we will get in touch with you shortly.

For more information please contact our Gallery Coordinator on  (07) 3367 1977 or email her at


Winners from Elegant Chaos: A Celebration of Still Life

Judged by Guest Artist Frances McKennariery, Her comments listed below

First Place

Pair with Pear by Beverley Tainton

The energy of chaos is beautifully demonstrated and held in shallow space through expert use of a high key palette and harmonising colours. Rhythmic waves of line and shape enhance the sense of movement and subdue this energy into an invitation to join in the ‘joie de vivre’.

Second Place

Good Looking Shells by David Laidley

Out of the darkness of chaos which so many artists visit in their creative process the energy has here emerged in an illuminated spiral – which happens to be an elegant pair of shells. The dramatic contrasts of light and dark support the strong movement of the spirals then the eye is brought to the reflections which slow the mind and underpin the work with a final sense of gravity.


Third Place

Favour Chair by Peter Hubbard

This subtle and thoughtful work unifies the movement in space and moments in time. A limited palette imbues the work with a sense of restraint and quiet contemplation as does the amusing use of the philosopher/artist image as the key still life figure.


Highly Commended


Appropriation and Annexation by Robin Finlay

The elegant choice of subject matter with Bird of Paradise blooms and finest Chinese vase is enhanced by gold ground and composed into a compelling image with a clear message. This image of refinement and culture disconcertingly includes a rough outback Australia image hand painted on the vase. The inner energy from the tensions in the imagery engages the viewer and hints at another way of seeing our world. Whatever the interpretations the work remains elegant and intriguing.


Still Life Connecticut by Dr Kay Kane

This subtle and beautifully observed drawing of a busy kitchen bench draws the eye into an experience of each object through sensitive line and shape. The silvery tonal range and use of silhouette resolves the chaos into a unified and graceful image.


Kathy Sullivan Pie ‘n’ Chips

The choice of subject, “Pie ‘n’ Chips” is witty and relevant to most of us which makes a great choice for still life. The sense of a meal interrupted adds dimension to the experience of the forms. Well realised in concept, placement, colours and textures.



Joanne Heath, Red Blue Reflection

Don Wotton,  The Mink that Stole the Show

People’s choice


Entangle by Michael Augustine
Elegant Chaos: A Celebration of Still life exhibition closed on Sunday 25th June 2019

Brisbane City Council supports Paint Out in Roma Street Parkland

The final event in the Brisbane Landscapes exhibition was the Paint Out in Roma Street Parkland and the closing event back at Petrie Terrace Gallery.

This event was sponsored by Brisbane City Council and RQAS are extremely grateful for the support BCC extends to the RQAS and local artists.

The Paint Out was enjoyed by all who attended despite the threatening prospect of rain. Fortunately we were spared being soaked as the storm clouds broke when we were safely back in the gallery.

The Paint Out resulted in some lovely images of Brisbane as shown here. Graham W. Smith and Diego Egiulerai are shown here with their masterpieces from the day.

It was great to have Diego visiting from Argentina and participating.

Thank you again Brisbane City Council

Proudly supported by


Call for Nominations for the Brisbane Branch Committee

Make a difference in your local art scene!!

We are seeking expressions of interest from people who are able to attend committee meetings monthly, support the objectives of the RQAS, take on responsibility for aspects of the operations of the gallery, and we would like people who have skills in one or more of the following areas – business, management, fundraising, working with philanthropists, grant submissions or have significant experience in the art world over a substantial period of time. 

Committee members do not necessarily need to be from the current membership base, and maybe you know of someone who has these skills and would be interested in being involved. If you are interested, please email the secretary via the contact page.

The Annual General Meeting is coming up on the 22nd September 2019 and all positions on the committee will be declared vacant. Marg Thomas will have completed almost 3 years as President and hence will be stepping down as President.

Abstraction 2019 Winners

Officially opened by Marg Thomas Brisbane Branch President at 2pm on Saturday the 18th May 2019

Comments by Guest Artist & Judge Leigh Camilleri

#5 Helen Creed for ‘Summer Haze’
When I first looked at this painting it stood out just because it’s different, but that isn’t why it’s the winner. The pattern is something that can really pull a work together, and colours in this work well together. In general, the work has a good rhythm and aesthetic.

Second Place
#14 Kate Barry for ‘Bush Bathing’.
Landscape can be a lot of things, for me the most successful are works that pull on the memories of the viewer. I spend a lot of time in the bush. Bush bathing sends me to a lyrical quiet place that is harmonious, yet full of sound and memory.

Third Place
#15 Sharon Beckett for ‘White Water’
A beautifully executed work that perfectly describes the ebb and flow of the water beneath. It is a quiet work that has pulls you into its depths.

Highly Commended
#43 Elisabeth Ruiz ‘Encounter at Opal Country’
This work is well considered and extends a feeling that you can imagine the spacial aspects of the design. Very attractive colour ways.

Highly Commended
#46 Kate Barry
This complex small work finds the light in the darkness. The light trips across the landscape in ever moving harmonies.

Highly Commended
#42 Beverley Tainton
Finding layers of landscape through observation. It’s obvious to the observer when the landscape has been considered. It is often that landscapes are either derived using a photograph or explored only through the mind. Sometimes you can do everything to encourage your work to find a point where it’s a reflection of the Artist. I think this work does that.

Peoples’ Choice
#7 Katrina Sunderland “Port of Brisbane”

Happy Easter!

The year is rolling on by, it’s Easter already!

The RQAS wishes everyone a very Happy Easter with lots of yummy treats and family time.

Please note that Petrie Terrace Gallery will be closed the following days Friday 19th, Saturday 20th, Sunday 21st, Monday 22nd and Thursday 25th for the public holidays and long weekend. 

Also due to unforeseen circumstances, our April artist talk/members gathering is canceled.

We hope you all have a lovely break and look forward to seeing you in the gallery soon.




Brisbane: Landscapes, Landmarks and Personalities

Our Brisbane Landscapes, Landmarks, and Personalities exhibition and competition opened to a packed house at Petrie Terrace Gallery last Saturday 6th April. Now in its second year, the BLLP is a celebration of everything that makes Southeast Queensland great, the places, the people and the views. Over 40 artists from all over the Great Southeast are displaying more than 60 artworks.

The exhibition was officially opened by Councillor Vicki Howard and judged by Robert Brownhall.

This year’s Brisbane: Landscapes, Landmarks, and Personalities exhibition is proudly sponsored by Brisbane City Council.


Make sure you get along to our Paint Out in The Park!

Saturday 4th May 10 am -2 pm in Roma Street Parklands our artists will be plein air painting then from 2:30 pm onwards join us in the gallery for the closing event where we will announce the people’s choice award!

Scroll down to see who took out the first prize and read the judge’s comments.


Max Butler with his prize winning painting.

1stPrize: Cat #47 ‘My Country #443’ By Max Butler.

Judge’s Comments:

“An amazing light effect achieved in this work. Every part is ‘alive’ with colour, the sun on the grass is hypnotising.”

Artist Warren Hampton and Judge Robert Brownhall with Warren’s prize winning artwork.

2ndPrize: Cat #39 ‘Rip Current at Main Beach’ By Warren Hampton.

Judge’s comments:

‘The character of the waves is beautifully captured in this painting. The sunlight on the white water is wonderful.’

Dominic Proberts with his award winning painting.

3rdPrize: Cat #19 ‘William Jolly Bridge’ by Dominic Proberts.

Judge’s Comments:

‘This composition has a feeling of the night ‘closing in’ on the viewer. I find it very dramatic and effective. It tells a powerful story.’

There were also four highly commendeds awarded.

Highly commended: Cat #10 ‘The Three graces, View from Milton’ by Robyn Bauer.

Karen Knight next to her work “Save the Broadway Hotel’

Highly Commended: Cat #31 ‘Save the Broadway’ by Karen Knight.

Wayne Singleton with his work ‘4 Bridges at Indooroopilly’

Highly Commended: Cat 50 ‘4 Bridges at Indooroopilly’ By Wayne Singleton

Highly Commended: Cat #59 ‘Lady Chapel – St John’s Cathedral’ By Glen Gillard.

Women’s Work: Celebrating the Female Contribution To The Arts

This year to celebrate the RQAS’s legacy of strong female artists we are holding our augural Women’s Work Exhibition and fundraiser!

Dates: 27thFebruary till 17thMarch 2019


Gala Opening Event:  6pm – 9:30pm Saturday 2ndMarch 2019

Tickets $10


Panel Discussion Women in the Arts: 2pm – 4pm Saturday 10thMarch 2019

Tickets adult- $10 student – $5


This International women’s day in conjunction with women’s charity – Share the Dignity, the Royal Queensland Art Society’s Petrie Terrace Gallery will be celebrating our legacy of strong female artists by holding the inaugural Women’s Work exhibition and fundraiser.

The RQAS has a long history of strong female artists in our organisation, over the years we’ve been lucky to count Caroline Barker, Vida Lahey, Daphne Mayo, Irene Amos, Ada Richardson, Margaret Olley among our membership. We currently have a female President – Margaret Thomas and two female gallery directors – Rochelle Lindquist and Vashti-Sita Bardsley.  If you scroll to the bottom of this post you can see some archival pictures of some of our celebrated female members.

This exhibition will bring together a diverse range of work, more than 100 pieces will be displayed by over seventy artists working across different mediums and disciplines.  Our artists will deliver work that responds to the following themes; the female contribution to art, equality in the workplace and the concept of Women’s Work.

The gala opening event will include a speech by the founder of Share the Dignity Rochelle Courtenay, live music and the auctioning off of an artwork by celebrated Brisbane artist Sarah Hickey, all funds raised from this auction will go to Share the Dignity along with half of the ticket sales from both events.

The Auction

Share the Dignity

This beautiful piece ‘Merged’ by Sarah Hickey was completed following her residency in Tweed River Regional Gallery. This Gaia inspired, mixed media piece balances a raw, passionate technique and palette with subtlety and softness, the juxtaposition of these opposing elements leave the viewer at once confronted and comforted by the work. Sarah has generously donated this piece to be auctioned off at the opening the full proceeds from this auction will go to Share The Dignity.

Sarah Hickey is our featured artist for this exhibition, she has been good enough to donate her time, her expertise and her work to this show. Sarah discusses why this show is important to her below.

“I am passionate about women reaching parity in a number fields, including the Arts. Women are central to my practice – their images in the contemporary world of painting, their depiction throughout history, the mythology and archetypes surrounding them, an understanding of myself as a woman in the world and an exploration of female empowerment and strength dating back to Pagan times. On the one hand, gender is a flexible, fluid concept and shouldn’t restrict creative expression, success, equality and respect. However when you read about the statistics particularly in regards to pay and working conditions, it is glaringly obvious we still need to do the work under the gender category of ‘Women’.” Sarah Hickey.

You can get your tickets for the opening night here.

The Panel Discussion

Our Panel Discussion Women in the Arts will bring together key figures in the Brisbane art world to discuss the multi-faceted issues faced by women in the art world. Panelists include Sarah Hickey and Emily Devers, there are still a couple of panelists to be confirmed await our updates.

Sarah Hickey – artist and art teacher.

Bio: Hickey’s series of female idols are inspired by images of women from a variety of contexts, histories and worlds. The complex layering of imagery and patterns depict beauty, spiritual iconography and the feminine.

After completing bachelor degrees in fine arts and education, and then five years of teaching art in Queensland high schools, Sarah Hickey started to produce art professionally after a long hiatus from her own creative practice.

Hickey has held eleven solo shows and participated in over thirty group shows. A finalist in the Redland Art Awards, Xstrata Percival Portrait Award, Clayton Utz Art Award, Marie Ellis OAM Drawing Prize, The Mandorla Art Award, Kenilworth Painting Prize, Lethbridge 10000 Art Award and $20, 000 Metro Pearls Competition; her work was featured in Curvy magazine.

Emily Devers – Gallery Director and Artist.

Emily Devers is a Brisbane based contemporary painter who develops pertinent and timeless concepts through both her gallery work and large scale murals. As well as a painter, she is the Director of annual public art festival Sea Walls Australia, Facilitator on the Flying Arts Touring Team, and Owner / Director of contemporary Art gallery The Third Quarter. After graduating from a Fine Arts degree at QUT, Emily has been participating in the Brisbane Arts scene for 10 years as Artist, Facilitator, Mentor, Industry Professional and now Curator. You can see Emily’s large scale artworks across Australia in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Tasmania, and internationally in San Diego, Mexico, Hawaii, Morocco and New Zealand.

You can get your tickets for the panel discussion here.

Make sure you get along to these events and support this fantastic cause!

And now for your enjoyment here are a few archival photos of some of the best and brightest women to grace the RQAS with their presence.

An article in Queensland Newspaper featuring several members of the RQAS